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Now that temperatures are warming, frost-seeding is occurring, and mud seems to be everywhere, I wonder how we made it through another winter...

March Organic Update: March is for Microbes

Dani Kusner
Posted March 11, 2021 by Dani Kusner

Now that temperatures are warming, frost-seeding is occurring, and mud seems to be everywhere, I wonder how we made it through another winter. As humans, we survive the harsh elements of snow, ice and wind with insulated shelters and carbon-extracted heat sources, but how do animals and plants make it through? They have some serious evolutionary skills that allow them to prosper, and part of their survival mechanism is the microbiology that is functioning in the background to constantly support life processes.

Biology in the form of tiny, microscopic creatures – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes –is necessary for any living entity. Whether it is for a corn crop, an animal or a human, a healthy, robust and diverse population of microbes are essential for them to thrive. A significant problem in agriculture is that many practices, such as tillage, high-salt fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, kill microbes and suppress their populations. In a transitioning organic field, or a certified organic field that has experienced a lot of stress, it can be helpful to re-introduce the microbiology in the form of a liquid biological solution to allow these beneficial bugs to re-populate and re-invigorate the soil and growing crop.

The Andersons Organics is excited to announce we are now distributing CX-1 by Purple Cow Organics. This broad-spectrum liquid biological is a compost extract containing hundreds of different bacterial and fungal strains. CX-1 can be added to any field pass, such as in-furrow at planting, at side-dress, or as a foliar, to introduce microbiology directly onto the crop. These microbes will go to work to make more mineral nutrition available to the crop, along with improving plant health and resilience from disease and pests. The result is a more nutrient-dense, higher yielding crop. In 2020 field trials in Tennessee on organic corn, there was a 16 bushel increase over the check, at a 5-gallon application rate of CX-1 with 1 pint of Fulvic LQ™ in furrow. In 2019 field trials in Wisconsin on organic corn, this same application rate of CX-1 plus Fulvic LQ resulted in a 13 bushel increase average over the check.

We look forward to continuing to support your organic needs this spring. If you have any questions about microbiology and our latest organic product, Purple Cow’s CX-1, please email me at dani_kusner@andersonsinc.com.

Dani Kusner

Dani Kusner has worked in biological and organic farming systems for the past 10 years since graduating from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in sustainability studies. She has worked at the Rodale Institute, and in Ontario, consulting with growers in both Canada and the United States. Dani joined The Andersons in 2016 and currently serves as an organic agronomy advisor, partnering with farmers as they transition to organic.


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